Lumière Spotlight:

A Report on the Party and Guests



A simple forest with a group of women and men sets the scene for the film A Report on the Party and Guests, a highly arranged satire by Czech filmmaker Jan Němec.

Shot in 1966, in an illusion-proof black and white, this gritty fantasy begins amiably with the declaration of a full-figured, fleshy blonde: "I like good company, good fun, and good flesh." The director subsequently delivers a very personal interpretation of these lines. Like Fellini filming extravagant characters parading around, whose behaviour insinuates the depression of a society on the verge of cracking, Němec gradually reveals how the sinister influence of a tyrannical regime weighs on those who suffer from it.


LA-FETE-ET-LES-INVITESA Report on the Party and Guests, 1966

Filmed in close-ups, the faces alternately express fear behind grimacing smiles, cowardice in the face of humiliation, or a certain obsessive madness aroused by compulsory submission. The characters facing the group alone unravel or do everything to be part of the pack. Yet the film asks all the relevant questions, even daring a " What about human rights?" After a sarcastic and visually striking beginning, A Report on the Party and Guests becomes increasingly tense, hiding a great sense of menace underneath its apparent civility. Moreover, when one character claims to be a democrat, followed soon by another, one understands precisely the opposite…


Virginie Apiou


Screening :

A Report on the Party and Guests by Jan Němec (O slavnosti a hostech, 1966, 1h11)
4K restoration in collaboration with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Národní filmový archive, Prague, and the Czech Film Fund.
UGC Confluence Wed13 7:15pm | Lumière Institute Fri15 9:30am



Categories: Lecture Zen